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News » Tech talent crunch intensifies amid digital transformation, says Robert Half

Tech talent crunch intensifies amid digital transformation, says Robert Half

Tech talent crunch intensifies
Photo from Robert Half

CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES—A new report by Robert Half revealed the widening technology skills gap that could derail organizations’ critical business priorities. 

The study, Building Future-Forward Tech Teams, found that 65% of technology leaders acknowledged skills gaps within their departments, with 62% stating that the impact of these gaps is more pronounced than a year ago.

According to the research, the top priorities for tech leaders this year include:

  • Securing IT systems and information
  • Implementing AI, machine learning, and automation initiatives
  • Advancing cloud projects
  • Modernizing technology infrastructure
  • Enhancing software engineering and development

However, a limited pool of skilled talent and significant skills gaps could jeopardize these projects, potentially forcing hasty decisions that may negatively impact businesses. 

An alarming 95% of tech leaders reported challenges in finding skilled professionals, with over half (51%) predicting a significant hiring obstacle due to a lack of applicants with the necessary skill sets.

AI exacerbating the talent shortage

The emergence of advanced AI capabilities has further exacerbated the skills gap challenge. The report reveals that 90% of tech leaders plan to implement AI initiatives this year, but 48% cited a lack of staff with AI skills as the biggest barrier to success.

“It has never been more critical to have a talent strategy in place that aligns with your long-term vision and goals,” said Ryan Sutton, executive director for technology talent solutions at Robert Half. 

“Without a defined hiring and retention plan to help fill technology skills gaps, it will be challenging to achieve objectives and complete mission-critical projects.”

Strategies for success

To effectively address skills gaps and build future-forward tech teams, Robert Half recommends the following strategies:

  1. Recruit and develop high-potential candidates. Focus on attracting technology candidates eager to learn new skills that support business priorities and offer training to promising candidates who may not yet meet all desired criteria.
  2. Adopt a scalable talent model. Combining permanent, contract, and consulting professionals can help bridge skills gaps quickly and efficiently, enabling teams to access specialized expertise, keep projects moving forward, and maintain agility.
  3. Encourage upskilling. Implement programs that foster innovative thinking and ongoing learning to prepare employees and organizations for the future and boost retention efforts.

“Today’s technology professionals must continuously evolve and refine their skill sets and capabilities to be effective on the job,” Sutton concluded. 

“And tech leaders will need to provide plenty of training opportunities and leverage internal and external talent to keep up with business priorities and uncover new opportunities.”

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